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Singapore - Digital Future of The First Truly Smart Nation by 2025

02.03.2017
Singapore government is moving fast towards making Singapore the first truly smart nation by 2025. It develops the infrastructure, enables and encourages private sector and directs substantial funding to make this happen. Finnish companies should start to build their connections to find future business opportunities from Singapore and tap into bigger opportunities in China, India and Southeast Asia by partnering with Singapore based big players.

National smart nation initiative has been under work for few years as a coordinated effort. Singapore is clearly on a path towards becoming the most advanced 'smart nation'. ​In addition to wide range of needs for ICT solutions for digital infrastructure, different sectors are scouting for technologies for their digital future. Promising sectors for Finnish offering include remote monitoring, waste management, traffic and logistics, healthcare, education and government’s online services.

Relevancy and impact for Finnish companies

Singapore's market advantages  are clear for Finnish companies. In addition, success in Singapore is a great reference and channel to Southeast Asia, China and India.

Smart nation requires endless number of solutions to make the vision a reality. Government and private sector are looking for the best components into wide range of needs. One interesting example of current developments is a monitoring system that collects data from hundreds of thousands of data points related to one million public housing flats. For this, the operators are continuously looking for new solutions for big data analysis, mobile apps to citizens, etc.

Entering the market

Finnish companies will find in Singapore a relatively accessible Smart City market, but one in which the opportunities are dominated by public sector spending and/or partnerships. The local market is small and also hotly contested by government-linked companies and international heavyweights. Smart City development is a top government priority, with its own Minister–in-Charge. The policy approach will be flexible: to "do it now and fix it later" rather than chase the wrong metric or delay and miss an opportunity.

  • Smart City start-ups, which are generally thin on the ground, can tap into a variety of generous funding options by local government agencies and there is a good presence of venture capitalists and potential Smart City value chain partners. Some 40% of start-up acquisitions in Asia occur in Singapore and 60% of start-ups in Singapore get follow-up funding. Seed funding is less easily available.
  • Singapore is a strong candidate for first point of entry in Asia, especially given the new emphasis on using Singapore as a city test bed for new technologies and the very large numbers of potential tech partners with regional headquarters in Singapore (municipalities in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are also investing in Smart City solutions).
  • While employment passes are more difficult to obtain these days, Smart City skills will be warmly received. Data scientists, technologists, programmers or engineers, who would like to contribute to the Smart Nation Initiative, may also avail themselves of the new Smart Nation Fellowship Programme. Awardees will work alongside data scientists and product developers from GovTech's Government Digital Services (GDS) team.

To learn more about business opportunities and the digital future of Singapore, please see the report under the related links and join the Webinar Market Opportunities: Singapore looking for Smart solutions.

More information:

Sari Arho Havren, Hong Kong

Consul, Innovation

+85 26 895 5221

Riku Mäkelä, Singapore

Councellor, Innovation and Trade Affairs

+6598157094

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